When someone cleans your kitchen…

When someone cleans your kitchen, unexpectedly, without being asked, and without expecting something in return, it’s like….ahhhhhh….the BEST. I haven’t been inspired to write much lately, mostly because I’m busy and life is good and I have nothing to complain about. But, tonight, I’m feeling exceedingly grateful for a daughter who goes above and beyond the call of daughter hood. Thank you!!!

Gratitude Laced With Shame

This morning, per our usual Saturday morning routine, Jeff took the kids off to gymnastics while I was faced with cleaning this. Again. And it made me feel cranky. I often feel like a hamster on a wheel. Doing the same thing, over and over and over.

 
But, it is what it is, so I cranked the tunes and got to work. And, it wasn’t so bad. It never is. Eventually, it ended up like this:

  
I don’t know why…but, while I was cleaning, I started to think about everything I have. I went back and forth between gratitude…and shame. Gratitude that my biggest problem on a Saturday morning is that I have to clean the house again. And, shame that there is so much stuff in this house. Useless stuff we spent money on and now we spend time maintaining it and cleaning around it.

That led me to think about the thousands of refugees coming into Canada and how we should really find some more things to donate to those here in PEI. Then, I started thinking about the ones who haven’t made it to Canada or to another safe place. Then I was awash with both gratitude and shame again.

Gratitude, because, this morning MY kids are off with their dad to gymnastics and dance. Then maybe we’ll take them swimming with their cousins later. That’s their journey for this first Saturday of March Break. And, immense shame because while I bitch and moan because I have to clean the house…or I can’t find time to get my nails done, THIS is happening:

 
  

Kids are being passed through wire fences in an attempt to find safety. My kids cry because I say they can’t have a granola bar before supper. But this. My God. What can I do? Please someone, tell me what I can do to be a better person. Tell me what I can do to remember to be grateful. Tell me what I can do to help these people and all the others in the world that are unsafe, that don’t have enough. I want to help. I have too much. Much more than I need. 

While babies have to endure this:

  
And families:

  
Enough is enough. We joke about first world problems when we complain about the stupidest things…but it’s not funny. IT IS NOT FUNNY. We need to help. We need to stop taking our wealth for granted. 

Bad Days

This post started because I was having a bad day. It was a half-hearted attempt to alter my state of mind from blah to at least neutral.

We all have bad days now and then. Bad days are just a part of life. Fortunately, so are good days.

I thought I was having a bad day… But, then, I saw a post from someone I know on Facebook that made my heart hurt. And it flipped my perspective upside down. And, I deleted my post.

I realized that sometimes we walk around in a bad mood and say we’re having a bad day. Something or a lot of somethings don’t go our way and we say we’re having a bad day. We’re tired, feeling sorry for ourselves, cranky. Bad. Day. But, really? It’s just a day. We won’t even remember that today was a bad day next week or next year.

The really bad days we’ll remember. The day a loved one dies. The day we, or someone we love, gets a scary diagnosis. The day there’s a tragic accident. The day we unexpectedly lose our job. The day a terrorist wins. These are bad days. These are the days that will leave scars. These are the days we need support. The days we need our friends to lift us up and carry us through until we’re steady enough to walk again.

To my friend who recently lost a loved one: we haven’t seen each other much lately, but you are in my thoughts. You are one of those people who shine light on everyone you come into contact with, and I smile every time I think of your beautiful face. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know I’m thinking of you and wishing you comfort and peace.

To all of my loved ones: I love you.

Accountability Post

So…last night I mused about Regression and how it’s a thing for me. I made a mini-pledge that today I was going to start travelling in the right direction…particularly with respect to eating junk food. I’m sure you’re all waiting with baited breath wondering how I did… 🙂

I had this for breakfast: Yummy delicious overnight oats topped with half a banana and a sliced strawberry.


I had a very busy morning at work, so I didn’t eat again until lunch time…when I ate this: mango chicken panini and cappuccino from Timothy’s.
   

For supper, we made naan bread pizzas….and they were so pretty…but I forgot to take a pic.  😦

I tracked my food on MFP and was under my calorie goal.

  
I really wanted a chocolate-covered granola bar after supper. Instead, I had a glass of water. And turned my kitchen from this

  
 To this:

 

I also sat down with the little Littles and watched an episode of Fuller House. 

I’m calling this day a success. Go me. 

Regression. It’s a thing.

Those of us who have kids know what regression is. It’s the potty-trained toddler that, all of a sudden, starts having accidents. It’s the baby who’s been sleeping through the night for months and, out of nowhere, starts waking up every two hours. 

But regression is not something that applies only to babies and kids. In fact, I would say adults are much more prone to regression than the average child. I mean kids learn so much so quickly and they keep that knowledge forever – reading, writing, how to use a fork…. As adults, we learn stuff, we make realizations and then we promptly forget about it in favour of convenience.

Sometimes, I feel like life is a constant, repetitive loop of one step forward, two steps back. 

Healthy eating? I can go from months of eating nothing but clean, natural whole foods, absolutely no added sugar, tracking every calorie, to eating every piece of junk in sight….it starts with one cookie and then…kaboom!

Meal planning? I can follow a meal plan to the letter for months. But some little thing goes wrong, like I have to work late or a kid gets sick…and it’s eating out three (or six) times a week.

Minimalism? I can go from purging and organizing every spare moment of the day for weeks. Take one night off because “I deserve it” and….bam….I can barely get off the couch to wash the supper dishes…for weeks.

Workout routine? 6 am workouts four times a week to…yawwwwn….maybe tomorrow. (Actually, I still get up for 6 am workouts three or four times a week…but it’s only a matter of time…)

It sounds bad…and, you know what? It is bad. It makes me feel horrible. I tell myself daily that tomorrow I’ll pick myself back up again…but, inevitably, I find some little excuse to be lazy.

I wish I could say this post is a pledge to stop regressing for good, but that would be a joke. I feel like it’s just a part of life for me. So, instead, it’s a mini pledge for small success. It’s a conscious decision that it’s time for the pendulum to swing the other way… So, tomorrow, I start with nutritious eating. Just one day to start. No chocolate covered granola bars. Lots of water. Maybe some fruit and veggies.

And, since I have announced it to the Internet, I have to be accountable. So, tomorrow night, I will post and let you know if I managed not to eat my weight in junk.

Wish me luck!

A Little Distracted

I’ve been a little distracted lately. Not really in a bad way, but at first in a “time to plan a vacation that I said I wasn’t going to take” kind of way. Now, in a “time to dream about the vacay I am going to take in 33 more sleeps” kind of way.  

Anyone who knows me will understand that I love to travel. And planning to travel is at least half the fun. I think, for me, the planning has always been an outlet for relieving day-to-day stresses. Real life can sometimes be a bummer. What better way to combat the mundane than with planning an escape, right? Right.

Even when the planning part is done, there’s lots to do. I mean – I can look at pictures of where I’m going on TripAdvisor and Facebook. I can show the kids pictures of all our other trips to the same resort. Sure, let’s get them hopped up on trip planning adrenaline, too. It’s fun! So, can you guess what happens when you tell a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old that Mommy and Daddy are taking them to Mexico next month? And then show them beautiful pictures of the beach, the pool, the sun, the sand, the WATER PARK?!? And then tell them they only have to wait 36 sleeps?

They want today to be over. They want every day between now and departure to be over. They want to go NOW.

So….this is not good. And, here’s why. There are a lot of moments between now and April 10 that have the potential to be great moments. But, if we spend every moment dreaming about that moment when we arrive in paradise…we’ve wasted them all. Not every moment between now and then is going to be awesome…but every moment is going to be what we make it.

And. The only moment that is guaranteed to be a moment at all is THIS MOMENT. What if we spend a bunch of moments dreaming about how great the moments on vacation will be…and then something bad happens and there is no vacation? Anything could happen.

So, I need to do a better job of teaching the littles that, sure, vacation will probably be fun. But, THIS is good, too. Today is fun. Every day has the potential to be the best day ever. Pizza Delight for supper??? Yes! Listening to Emma sing Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colours? Fun!?! Watching William wiggle his butt like nobody’s business? OMG, so fun! Talking to Brenna about “Kenny”? Hysterically funny and fun and mildly intriguing… Who IS Kenny anyway??? Getting an email with Cameron’s university graduation picture? Amazing! Learning that Devon got an 88 on a math test? Wooooohooooo!

This moment is life. It’s not going to be better when I’m on vacation, when I lose 20 pounds, when I get that job, when I have more money, when I have less stress. Life happens in the now. There’s no pause button. This is not a phase or an interlude. This is IT. And this is AWESOME.